For those who appreciated the TRE MARTELLI's last two records Omi e Paiz (1995) and Car Der Steili (2000), this bulky, highly eclectic anthology culling the best tracks from their previous five (no longer available) albums constitutes an essential addition to their discography as well as a valuable point of entry to the tradition of southern Piedmont. On the scene for some 25 years now, the TRE MARTELLI have patiently reconstructed the folk music heritage of the geographical triangle between Monferrato, Langhe and Alessandrino, gathering together a huge repertoire of drinking songs, ballads, instrumentals and dance music from walzes to polkas. The group's ethnomusicological research, as well as being a model of scholarly precision and efficacy, also stands as a heartfelt acknowledgement of those whose testimonies have enabled them to put together a corpus of oral documents of great value, once again giving substance to a collective memory that seems to be fading inexorably from the lives of rural Piedmont communities. Throughout its 29 tracks (some of which have never before been recorded and feature prestigious guest musicians the likes of jazzman Antonello Salis, the Canadian bagpipe player Robert Amyot and Guido Antoniotti on 'alpine' percussion) "Semper Viv" retraces the various stages of the TRE MARTELLI's lives and artistic career, beginning with their first self-produced recording, 1978's Danza di luglio and going up to their 1991 album Bruzè Carvé, featuring top musicians such as Gianni Coscia, Rod Stradling and Russel Jones. In between times, the history of the group, founded by Lorenzo Boioli, Renzo Ceroni and Enzo Conti with numerous line-up changes along the way, has been marked by three other important albums, Trata Birata (1982) with Bernadette Da Dalt guesting on vocals, Giacu Trus (1985), introducing the powerful voice of Vincenzo "Ciacio" Marchelli, who would become a fixed member of the group from 1988, and lastly The Tempest (1987) featuring the aforementioned Gianni Coscia, among others. The TRE MARTELLI's formidable reputation is also in no small part due to their intensive live calendar, during which they've been able to unite the sheer pleasure of playing with their philological research, uncovering forgotten long tunes buried under the weight of years 25 years of hopping between past and present have made the TRE MARTELLI one of the most fertile and representative groups on the Italian folk music scene.